Jamaica and St. Vincent aiding stricken islands and British Virgin Islands

Storm forces barge of hurricane relief supply to return to St. Vincent

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Sept. 19, CMC — Rough seas and other unfavorable marine conditions on the weekend forced the return to Kingstown of an 1,800-tonne barge laden with relief supplies bound for storm-ravaged British Virgin Islands (BVI).
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves

The supplies were donated by the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, businesses and individuals and had been dispatched to the British overseas territory, which is at risk of being hit by another hurricane, even as it struggles to respond to the devastating blow dealt by category 5 Hurricane Irma on Sept. 6.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told a press conference in Kingstown on Monday that the vessel had reached Dominica when the captain decided to sail south to avoid Hurricane Maria.

The government had spent over EC$400,000 to help in the effort, with the barge carrying corporate and individual donations for persons in the BVI, where 10 per cent of the 30,000 residents are Vincentians.

The contribution of the government included some 2,500 gallons of fuel for the vessel.

“We will have to pay more now because we will have to refuel,” Gonsalves said.

He said that the donations from St. Vincent was able to fill 80 per cent of the barge, which set sail from Port Kingstown around midnight Friday, and was scheduled to arrive in Tortola 48 hours later.

Gonsalves, who has ministerial responsibilities for disaster management, said that when he returned to Kingstown from Venezuela around midday Sunday, the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) in Kingstown told him that the barge was on the western side of Dominica.

He asked NEMO to ask the captain if they could go south to St. Lucia because of the predicted path of the storm.

“But I think that even on the western side there’d be problems, so they clearly took a decision to come further south, so they are here. They are out here, they have come back into our waters,” he said of the vessel, which is docked in Port Kingstown.

“This is just a fact of life. We have to wait until Maria passes in order to be able to send the food and water,” Gonsalves said. “It is a sad thing that they are delayed.”

He noted that the region has been dealt a heavy blow by tropical cyclone this Atlantic Hurricane Season, which ends, officially, on November 30.

“The season is still active. We hope and pray that we would be spared but we don’t know what will happen. We just have to be prepared and we have to be active in that preparation,” Gonsalves said.

He told the media that the relevant state agencies are working in a coordinated fashion and he and the director of NEMO, Michelle Forbes, are in contact with each other all the time.

“And I am keeping colleagues informed and I am having reports. I have a file here with reports of one kind or another with this matter. It’s taking up a fair amount of time on a daily basis and on a nightly basis too for us to get things together,” the prime minister said.

Jamaica stands ready to assist island’s impacted by hurricanes

 
 
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Sep. 19, CMC  – Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness says his administration will provide whatever assistance it can by countries in the Eastern Caribbean that have been battered by hurricanes.

holnessss“I am in touch with the Prime Ministers from the Eastern Caribbean, Our prayers are with them as they seek to recover from these tragedies. Jamaica stands with them in their time of need,” said Holness on Tuesday.

Late Monday Hurricane Maria, a powerful Category five storm, battered Dominican, uprooting trees and ripping off roofs.

Holness said that while he has had no formal communication the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, he had seen posts made on social media.

Last week, Hurricane Irma, also a Category five system devastated several islands, including Barbuda, St. Maarten and the British Virgin Islands.

“Jamaica stands ready to assist our Caribbean neighbours. We are calling on the private sector to also assist where possible,” Holness said.

He added that Jamaica has provided airlift for Jamaicans from St Maarten and the British Virgin Islands.

He also urged Jamaicans to continue to be prepared as the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season remains active.

The hurricane season officially ends on November 30.

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Storm forces barge of hurricane relief supply to return to St. Vincent

KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Sept. 19, CMC — Rough seas and other unfavorable marine conditions on the weekend forced the return to Kingstown of an 1,800-tonne barge laden with relief supplies bound for storm-ravaged British Virgin Islands (BVI).
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves
Dr. Ralph Gonsalves

The supplies were donated by the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, businesses and individuals and had been dispatched to the British overseas territory, which is at risk of being hit by another hurricane, even as it struggles to respond to the devastating blow dealt by category 5 Hurricane Irma on Sept. 6.

Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told a press conference in Kingstown on Monday that the vessel had reached Dominica when the captain decided to sail south to avoid Hurricane Maria.

The government had spent over EC$400,000 to help in the effort, with the barge carrying corporate and individual donations for persons in the BVI, where 10 per cent of the 30,000 residents are Vincentians.

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The contribution of the government included some 2,500 gallons of fuel for the vessel.

“We will have to pay more now because we will have to refuel,” Gonsalves said.

He said that the donations from St. Vincent was able to fill 80 per cent of the barge, which set sail from Port Kingstown around midnight Friday, and was scheduled to arrive in Tortola 48 hours later.

Gonsalves, who has ministerial responsibilities for disaster management, said that when he returned to Kingstown from Venezuela around midday Sunday, the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO) in Kingstown told him that the barge was on the western side of Dominica.

He asked NEMO to ask the captain if they could go south to St. Lucia because of the predicted path of the storm.

“But I think that even on the western side there’d be problems, so they clearly took a decision to come further south, so they are here. They are out here, they have come back into our waters,” he said of the vessel, which is docked in Port Kingstown.

“This is just a fact of life. We have to wait until Maria passes in order to be able to send the food and water,” Gonsalves said. “It is a sad thing that they are delayed.”

He noted that the region has been dealt a heavy blow by tropical cyclone this Atlantic Hurricane Season, which ends, officially, on November 30.

“The season is still active. We hope and pray that we would be spared but we don’t know what will happen. We just have to be prepared and we have to be active in that preparation,” Gonsalves said.

He told the media that the relevant state agencies are working in a coordinated fashion and he and the director of NEMO, Michelle Forbes, are in contact with each other all the time.

“And I am keeping colleagues informed and I am having reports. I have a file here with reports of one kind or another with this matter. It’s taking up a fair amount of time on a daily basis and on a nightly basis too for us to get things together,” the prime minister said.

Jamaica stands ready to assist island’s impacted by hurricanes

by STAFF WRITER
 
 
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Sep. 19, CMC  – Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness says his administration will provide whatever assistance it can by countries in the Eastern Caribbean that have been battered by hurricanes.

holnessss“I am in touch with the Prime Ministers from the Eastern Caribbean, Our prayers are with them as they seek to recover from these tragedies. Jamaica stands with them in their time of need,” said Holness on Tuesday.

Late Monday Hurricane Maria, a powerful Category five storm, battered Dominican, uprooting trees and ripping off roofs.

Holness said that while he has had no formal communication the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, he had seen posts made on social media.

Last week, Hurricane Irma, also a Category five system devastated several islands, including Barbuda, St. Maarten and the British Virgin Islands.

“Jamaica stands ready to assist our Caribbean neighbours. We are calling on the private sector to also assist where possible,” Holness said.

He added that Jamaica has provided airlift for Jamaicans from St Maarten and the British Virgin Islands.

He also urged Jamaicans to continue to be prepared as the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season remains active.

The hurricane season officially ends on November 30.